7 Reasons Your Fat Loss Has Plateaued

Nov 2, 2022
Mark Carroll

Fat loss is not linear.

It’s a clear statement (well, I believe it is) but people still can’t tend to grasp the fact that fat loss itself does not occur at the same rate every day, or week.

Once we accept the fact that fat loss is not linear, so many other things will start to line up… such as the fact that you shouldn’t be rushing to drop your calories after a short-term scale weight loss plateau.

A lot of the time, I find that this is where people often go wrong in their dieting process which then leads to everything becoming way harder than it needs to be and failure starts to creep in. 

For the majority of people, you will do far better in the long-term by trying to lose weight on as many calories as you possibly can (whilst, obviously, staying in a deficit). Also, it’s often that the ‘weight loss plateau’ you’re facing is not so much a plateau at all… it might just be human error, such as:

  1. Lack of Tracking Consistency – Commonly, I have seen people only track foods that you actually eat which leaves out the whole range of liquid calories that we also consume! Likewise, I see people thinking they only need to track protein in key protein sources like meats or shakes, then leave out calories from protein in things like nut butters, snacks and other sources.
    Everything that has an energy value needs to be tracked! 
  2. Incorrectly Calculating their Initial Deficit – It’s very often that people stuff up their initial calculations which leads them to starting their ‘diet’ on the wrong amounts and numbers. 
  3. Increase in Carbs – A lot of people come to me on low-carbs & high-fat diets. I (most of the time) tend to rotate their macros to a higher-carbs and lower-fats approach as this is what works for the majority of my clients and previous clients. With an increase in carbs, your weight is going to go up due to the water from increased muscle glycogen… you’re not gaining weight. 
  4. Weighing ALL your Foods – People always start strong with tracking, but after a while we all get a little lazy and decide to start guesstimating and eye-balling food quantities. We need accuracy here ALL THE TIME! 
  5. Reduction in Movement – A friend of mine that I’m helping out with their nutrition recently stalled in their fat loss progress. Naturally, they wanted to reduce their calories to counteract this. As I started to dig down a little deeper, I found out that they were sick for the past week and weren’t able to train or exercise at all! Their calories aren’t wrong, their energy output was just reduced. 
  6. Time of the Month? – As a trainer who primarily trains women, I generally don’t get them to track their scale weight around their period. Your weight fluctuates A LOT on your period and sometimes that can throw you off mentally. Don’t beat yourself up over it, it’s normal! 
  7. Patience is the Key – A week of no scale progress is not a plateau… it’s just a little obstacle that you’re going to get over! Literally, the next day you could weigh yourself and be the lowest you’ve been. This is why I always remind you that FAT LOSS IS NOT LINEAR!

Fat loss is a hard task, so please don’t beat yourself up if you stall for a little – it’s all part of the progress. Trust me, I’m the professional here!

Coach Mark Carroll